Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Athina
Date Started: August 14, 2004
Date Finished: August 14, 2004
In 2000 [Ian Thorpe] was generally accepted as the world's leading male swimmer. Four years later many thought that crown has passed to [Michael Phelps] but in one event, the 400 metres freestyle, Thorpe remained dominant. As such it was a source of astonishment that he false started at the Australian trials and apparently lost his chance of retaining his Olympic title.Thorpe was restored to the Australian team when [Craig Stevens] gave up his place to concentrate on his more favoured 1500 m freestyle. Stevens' decision became a major media story in Australia and a bidding war between various media outlets for an exclusive interview ensured he made a tidy profit from his decision.
Thorpeâs eventual victory was far less clear cut than had been expected and he was pressured right up to the end by compatriot [Grant Hackett] with America's [Klete Keller], the halfway leader, a close third behind the two Australians.